New Jersey. Department of Community Affairs SUPERSTORM SANDY COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT BLOCK GRANT DISASTER RECOVERY

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1 New Jersey Department of Community Affairs SUPERSTORM SANDY COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT BLOCK GRANT DISASTER RECOVERY Public Law 113-2; January 29, 2013 FR-5696-N-01; March 5, 2013 FR-5696-N-06; November 18, 2013 FR-5696-N-11; October 16, 2014 ACTION PLAN AMENDMENT NUMBER 16 - SUBSTANTIAL AMENDMENT AMENDMENT FOR THE TRANSFER OF SANDY CDBG-DR FUNDS Transferring Funds from the Homeowner Resettlement, the Neighborhood Enhancement and the Essential Services Grant to the LMI Homeowners Rebuilding PUBLIC COMMENT PERIOD: DATE SUBMITTED TO HUD: DATE APPROVED BY HUD: Chris Christie Governor Kim Guadagno Lt. Governor Charles A. Richman Acting Commissioner South Broad Street, P.O. Box 800 Trenton, NJ

2 SECTION 1: OVERVIEW New Jersey received approval from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for its CDBG-DR Action Plan on April 29, The Action Plan described the State s allocation of the $1,829,520,000 of first round CDBG-DR funds allocated by HUD to support New Jersey recovery efforts. Since that time, the State has submitted, and HUD has approved, fifteen amendments to the Action Plan, including Substantial Amendment Number 7, which described the allocation of $1,463,000,000 of second round CDBG-DR funds across recovery programs, and Substantial Amendment Number 11, which described the allocation of $501,909,000 of the third (and final) round of discretionary CDBG-DR funds intended to address unmet recovery needs. This Action Plan Amendment Number 16 (APA 16) is considered a substantial amendment according to the definition in the HUD Federal Register and in accordance with the State s Citizen Participation Plan because it involves a reallocation of more than $1,000,000 of CDBG-DR funds. This Amendment is being made available in English and Spanish via the Internet at DCA s website and also can be obtained through to or by contacting Constituent Services at If additional language translation services are needed please call SANDYHM ( ). When the agent answers the line, inform them of the appropriate language. For Hearing Impaired Users, Text Telephone Service is available at (TTY/TDD) or The public comment period for APA 16 will be open from July 6, 2015 to 5:00 PM (EST) on August 4, Per HUD requirements, a public hearing also will be held during the comment period on the following date and at the following location: July 21, 2015; Brookdale Community College (Monmouth County); Robert J. Collins Arena; 765 Newman Springs Road, Lincroft, NJ 07738; 4 7 pm Comments on this proposed amendment can be submitted at the hearings, or via to or U.S. mail addressed to Sandy Recovery Division, Constituent Services, NJ Department of Community Affairs, 101 South Broad Street, Post Office Box 823, Trenton, New Jersey All comments are given the same consideration regardless of the method of submission. 1-1

3 SECTION 2: FUNDING TRANSFER Housing remains the State s foremost recovery priority. Of the $3,794,429,000 of discretionary CDBG-DR funds that the State has been allocated by HUD, more than $2.5 billion (~66%) has been dedicated to homeowner- and renter-focused programs and initiatives. Moreover, the Christie Administration is committed to fully funding every eligible applicant to the Rehabilitation, Reconstruction, Elevation and Mitigation (RREM), as well as to the LMI Homeowners Rebuilding, which seeks to serve all eligible low- or moderate-income (LMI) applicants who meet all RREM eligibility criteria but did not apply to the RREM program. Using second round CDBG-DR funds, the State allocated $40 million to establish the LMI Homeowners Rebuilding, which includes a $10 million initial reserve for eligible applicants who own manufactured housing units/mobile homes. The application period for the program opened in January 2015 and extended to March 20, Outreach for the LMI Homeowners Rebuilding, driven by DCA and non-profit partners, was extensive. In total, 538 applicants have been determined to be preliminarily eligible for the LMI Homeowners Rebuilding based on the established eligibility criteria and the information provided by applicants in their applications. Based on this figure, additional funds need to be transferred to the program in order to avoid having to create a program waitlist. If further CDBG-DR funds prove necessary to fully fund all eligible applicants that proceed through the program, additional CDBG- DR funds will be shifted into the program to meet the need. To avoid having to create a waitlist for the LMI Homeowners Rebuilding, Table 1 describes the funding transfer of CDBG-DR funds to the LMI Homeowners Rebuilding from three different existing CDBG-DR funded recovery initiatives. Importantly, none of these transfers will affect any existing funding commitments to individuals or projects. Table 1: Transfer of Funds to the LMI Homeowners Rebuilding Approved NJ Action Plan Activity Previous Allocation Amount of Transfer Activity Revised Allocation Homeowner Resettlement $215,000,000 (-)$10,000,000 $205,000,000 Neighborhood Enhancement $50,000,000 (-)$10,000,000 $40,000,000 Essential Services Grants $145,000,000 (-)$9,000,000 $136,000,000 LMI Homeowners Rebuilding $40,000,000 (+)$29,000,000 $69,000,

4 Homeowner Resettlement ($10 million) The State allocated $215 million of CDBG-DR funds to the Homeowner Resettlement, which provided $10,000 of non-construction-related financial assistance to eligible Sandy-affected homeowners. As a condition of receiving program funds, applicants committed to continued residence within one of the nine most-impacted counties for a period of at least three consecutive years. The program served all eligible applicants, disbursing more than $185 million across more than 18,500 households. Among other things, the Homeowner Resettlement along with FEMA Individual Assistance (approximately $190 million), the Working Families Living Expenses Voucher, also known as SHRAP (approximately $100 million) and, now, the Rental Assistance ($9.5 million) has provided funding to support households paying both a mortgage and rent while displaced by Sandy-related damage or reconstruction. DCA currently is in the process of reviewing compliance of Resettlement grant recipients to ensure that they fulfill the three-year residency commitment that was a condition of receiving program funds. While DCA will continue to incur compliance review and other program delivery costs until the official close-out of the Homeowner Resettlement, DCA has concluded that $10 million of program funding can be transferred without materially affecting DCA s ability to satisfy program obligations. These funds will be transferred to the LMI Homeowners Rebuilding based on the identified unmet needs. Neighborhood Enhancement ($10 million) The State allocated $50 million of CDBG-DR funds to the Neighborhood Enhancement (NEP), previously termed as the Blight Reduction in the CDBG-DR Action Plan, including $20 million from the second round of CDBG- DR funds. NEP was established to fund the rehabilitation or re-use of foreclosed, vacant or abandoned properties that present risk of neighborhood blight to create affordable housing. Of the $20 million of second round NEP funds, the first $10 million has been made available for Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) and Community Housing Development Organizations (CHDOs) to submit applications for funding based on projects that further program goals and satisfy program guidelines. The application period opened in March 2015, and closed on June 26, 2015, with applications to be reviewed and funded based on the established objective program criteria. The remaining $10 million of second round NEP funds was held in reserve to evaluate the demand for the initial $10 million of second 2-2

5 round NEP funds by CDFIs and CHDOs and the nature of the projects submitted. As a result, none of that funding is currently committed to any existing projects. The uncommitted $10 million of second round NEP funds will be transferred to the LMI Homeowners Rebuilding to address the identified unmet needs. Essential Services Grants ($9 million) The Essential Services Grant (ESG) provides competitive grants to eligible counties, municipalities, school districts and other local government entities hit hard by Superstorm Sandy that, but for ESG funding, would not be able to provide essential public services (public safety; public works; sanitation; education; etc.) to residents. As an ancillary benefit, ESG mitigated risk of unsustainable property tax increases to community members in hard-hit municipalities with budgets strained by recovery-related expenses and, in many cases, depleted ratable bases. Among others, this program has benefitted hard-hit areas like Atlantic City, Brick, Keansburg, Sea Bright, Seaside Heights and Toms River. ESG, administered by DCA s Division of Local Government Services, was allocated $145 million of CDBG-DR funds and has disbursed grant funding in three separate funding rounds -- one in each of 2013; 2014 and Accounting for distributions across all three years, including the recently announced 2015 ESG awards to eligible applicants, as well as program administration costs, the Division of Local Government Services has concluded that $136 million will be sufficient to fully fund the program. As a result, the remaining $9 million will be transferred to the LMI Homeowners Rebuilding to satisfy the identified unmet need. 2-3

6 SECTION 3: PUBLIC COMMENTS/RESPONSES As required by HUD, this proposed Substantial Amendment will be made available for public comment over a period of at least thirty days. Also per HUD requirements, the State will hold a public hearing to solicit comments in connection with this proposed amendment. The date and location of the public hearing are: July 21, 2015; Brookdale Community College (Monmouth County); Robert J. Collins Arena; 765 Newman Springs Road, Lincroft, NJ 07738; 4 7 pm Commenters may submit comments to this proposed amendment (i) via to (Subject: APA 16); (ii) via U.S. mail; or (iii) via oral or written comments at the public hearing. All comments are given the same amount of consideration regardless of the method of submission. After the public comment period closes, the State will synthesize the comments submitted on this proposed amendment and include responses to those comments received as part of the final amendment submitted to HUD for review and approval. 3-1

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